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Media mogul Barry Diller popularized the TV miniseries with Roots, cofounded the Fox network, and owned shopping channels QVC and HSN.
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Born in San Francisco, in 1942, Diller grew up in Los Angeles and claims he rarely attended classes on Mondays or Fridays at Beverly Hills High School.He dropped out of UCLA after four months, but his friend Marlo Thomas helped him get a job in the mailroom at the William Morris Agency. Three years later, Diller was a full-fledged talent agent. In 1966, he became a programming assistant at ABC and steadily rose to the position of vice president. Along the way, he invented the made-for-TV movie and launched the TV miniseries Roots. In 1974, he took a job as chairman and chief executive of Paramount Studios and turned the flagging company around with hits including Saturday Night Fever (1977) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
The Simpsons and Married with Children. Diller, known for his tough-talking, volatile personality, left the company in 1992 after having a falling out with Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox's parent company). Later that year, Diller bought shopping channel QVC, and also tried to purchase Paramount and later CBS, losing both bids. In 1995, Diller began amassing his own media empire, becoming chairman of the Home Shopping Network, and acquiring USA and the Sci-Fi Channel. In 1997, he became part owner of Ticketmaster. The following year, he merged Ticketmaster's online arm with Citysearch, a provider of local online city guides. The combination transformed Citysearch into an e-commerce venture, and the combined company, called Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch, went public in 1999.
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